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thoughts of the week

  • @chelseabirkby

9. World mental health day

Are you a medium, because right now you are communicating with my ghost. I died the hardest death I have ever seen anyone die at a gig this week in Northampton. Actually, it wasn’t a death it was a murder. Even the audience member who was nice to me at the beginning turned by the end- et tu Brute?

I had to ask the photographer “is there a photoshop tool to edit the sadness out of my eyes”. He said no, but I did notice he'd put me in black and white so that's handy to note.

This was off the back of another bad gig where at one point I actually had to say to the audience “what are you laughing at?”.

Two in one week! I can’t tell if this is because of very good or very poor mental outlook but on some level I really didn’t care at all.

I cosplayed as Kitty on her birthday, is that weird. She cried a lot that evening, it was touching. Which is still currently banned.

While driving to a gig, Kitty asked what I am working on right now. I said “finding meaning at this stage of my life”, then “oh, like right now in my set or?”.

We were going to Cheltenham Literary Festival where I wasn’t sure if they’d be ready for my joke where the punchline is “cunt” (it’s a sophisticated bit about Freud, I swear) so instead I switched it to “bumbums”.

Anyway, it didn’t really work that way so I said cunt anyway.

I don’t know what the moral of that story is.

I have finally been watching BoJack Horseman.

I am so biased against cartoons no matter how many more I watch and love. And no matter if it is a comedy with a horse about depression, things I basically built my personality off.

Once, I got approached to do a charity gig with “I think you’d be perfect since your act is about mental health and you have your horse character”- it was a brain injury charity.

Alex Green recommended BoJack to me and when he came downstairs on his way out this morning I was at the end of season two. He asked which episode. It was 11. He then tied his shoe laces faster and said “ah” and “I gotta get out of here quick”.

God it was devastating. “It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier."

My therapist is back from holiday. We spoke about how depression might once have been a rational choice to protect yourself from something you thought was worse, but may be a choice you no longer want to make.

But it doesn't feel like much of a choice. After a certain stage, falling further and further down feels inevitable.

It's a bit like Go Ape. You're on the final course. You try the extreme route because that's you've why you wanted to go in the first place. And you paid £33 and you know it's not for the gram because you left your phone in the car because you already broke two this financial year.

Maybe you've climbed the rope ladder but as you go to transfer on to the climbing wall 20ft up, you lose strength. Maybe if this route had been the first one, not the fifth? Maybe if someone could help but noone can because at Go Ape it is up to "trained customers" which you now are after Michael, the sixth former training you, pronounced your carabiner technique "awesome" so now you can jump from height, and I cannot state this enough, at your own risk.

You reach again with your arms, no. You try pushing with your legs but they're shaky now as well. The more you try and climb the more tired you get in your muscles, somehow, in your bones. You can't just dangle, that would be nice, maybe if you could dangle, you could recover some strength and carry on, but you the only way to stay even at the half way point is to hold on, which is becoming increasingly harder. You hold on or let go. The safety rope will slow your descent, but you can't just be suspended.

Sarah is at the top saying you can do it! And you want to! And you know if you don't make it up, the extreme route doesn't meet the alternative route until much later. If you can do the alternative route.

You know kids do it, Trained Customer kids, but they're lighter. Maybe it’s because I haven't worked out in a while or maybe it's that old knee condition I had. Oh, you had, in this instance.

Isn't it becoming increasingly unlikely you'll make this, or any other route the longer you hold on? Maybe it better to just try and soften the fall? To be grateful for the bark and hope you can figure out another way once you can get up again.

Maybe it's a better choice, maybe it's the only choice.

Something in me believes it really can't be inevitable though. That’s why we do all ~ this ~.

Anyway, this weekend, Sarah and I invented the best game of all time: Scrabble Headbasket.

It’s scrabble, and headbasket. So after you play a word you have the chance to double it if you get the ball in the headbasket.

But here’s the twist,

Double points ONLY if when it goes in you say “that’s headbasket!”, otherwise you HALF YOUR POINTS.

We drank a bottle of malbec, ate a packet of kettle chips and I think the highest scoring words were "dirting” and “dicklet”.

I highly recommend this game for literally everyone.

I borrowed some of her beans this weekend, they were Heinz ™. Oh, I didn’t realise we lived with The Queen!

People who hand write in all caps have frightening energy.

Or are Dads.

(Here's a doc of how you can access free or discounted therapy)

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